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[Neuroscience] Re: More questions on Cerebellar slices

Matthew Kirkcaldie via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by m.kirkcaldie from removethis.unsw.edu.au)
Fri Apr 6 00:09:30 EST 2007

In article <1175823541.805013.12000 from n76g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,
 "Bill" <connelly.bill from gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I really appriciate the help I've already received on this subject,
> but I have one more question.
> When removing the cerebellum from the head, what is the best of
> removing the skull?
> For all of my forebrain studies I always stick scissors up through the
> foramen magnum, absolutely destroying the cerebellum. I could try and
> be more careful and still enter through the back, but I was wondering
> if anyone had any tried and tested suggestions.
> Thanks.

Why not cut in a horizontal plane on each side, using scissors starting 
on the bottom edge of the foramen magnum under the brainstem?  That is, 
cutting the "floor" off the rest of the skull.  One could then cut 
around the sides, still at the base of the cranial cavity, until the top 
half lifts off the floor.  I have used this method to remove unfixed rat 
and mouse brain intact, without damage apart from cutting cranial nerves 
and the occasional lost olfactory bulb.  I usually cut very carefully up 
from the foramen magnum as well, with the scissors angled so the blade 
stays against the bone and doesn't go into the underlying cerebellum. 
This makes the top half of the skull resemble beetle wing covers, you 
can just flip them forward and out.

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